Max Verstappen broke his own record for the most victories in a season as the champion breezed to a huge win in the Mexican Grand Prix, beating Lewis Hamilton with a serene triumph despite the race featuring a red flag and a safety car.
Red Bull driver Verstappen beat Mercedes’ Hamilton by almost 14 seconds, making light work of Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who started ahead of him at the front of the grid, as he triumphed for the 16th time in 2023.
The action at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was stopped midway through when Kevin Magnussen crashed into a barrier at speed as the result of a suspension issue, leaving unhurt but evidently shaken with a fire visible in his car afterwards.
Leclerc finished third, with Sainz holding off Mercedes’ George Russell, who was overtaken by McLaren’s Lando Norris with four laps to go for fifth.
Norris was 17th at one point but tore through the field to take 10 points and clock the fastest lap behind Verstappen and Hamilton, who became the late pace-setter on that count.
There was immediate drama when home hero Sergio Perez hit Leclerc while attempting to go round the outside of him on the first turn of the race, spinning off and retiring shortly afterwards before lamenting a predicament that led to some Mexican supporters leaving the stands early.
Perez’s apologetic tone will now turn to avoiding Hamilton – third in the driver standings – from reducing a gap on his second-placed position standing at 20 points with three races to go.
Verstappen has the chance to extend his own record and his winning run to four races in the 21st round in Brazil on November 4.
The Sporting News followed the Mexican Grand Prix live, providing updates below.
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Max Verstappen wins the Mexican Grand Prix!
There was all of about a minute in this race near the start when it was in doubt that the champion would pick up a record 16th win of the season!
George Russell keeps out Daniel Ricciardo. Here’s how it finishes…
Lap 70: A slither of late drama as Daniel Ricciardo pushes George Russell hard for sixth place. Doesn’t look like it’s realistically going to happen, though.
Lap 69: Lewis Hamilton has been told to try for the fastest lap, which you suspect will make for an interesting final two laps from the Briton.
Lap 67: That battle between Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon culminates in the Alpine driver sealing 10th place. Bit cruel, this late on.
Lap 65: Lando Norris is still trying to cut down George Russell’s two-second lead over him in fifth place.
Lap 63: There’s an intriguing battle in the race for the final point. Nico Hulkenberg has both Alpine cars after him, just about holding off Esteban Ocon.
Lap 61: Max Verstappen is steaming to victory here. He’s almost 13 seconds ahead of second-placed Lewis Hamilton.
Lap 60: A roar goes up as Lando Norris overtakes Daniel Ricciardo!
Lap 59: “We know what [George] Russell is like,” Lando Norris is advised as he targets fifth once he’s overhauled Daniel Ricciardo. “He’s all or nothing. We just need to be patient.”
Lap 58: Lando Norris is trying to overtake Daniel Ricciardo and take sixth.
Lap 57: Let’s have a look at the top five.
Lap 56: Oscar Piastri is told to allow McLaren teammate Lando Norris a way through to challenge Daniel Ricciardo in sixth. Piastri grants it. Understandable, given the damage to Piastri’s car.
Lap 54: Arguably the most entertaining radio moment so far: Yuki Tsunoda tells his team to pipe down unless they’ve got something truly vital to tell him. He’s understandably frustrated following that crash that cost him eight spots.
Lap 52: Oscar Piastri’s car does seem to have been damaged by that collision. Max Verstappen, meanwhile, still has a five-second cushion over Lewis Hamilton at the top of the pile.
Lap 50: Oscar Piastri, meanwhile, is in seventh and no safety car will be summoned over that crash.
Lap 49: Now that set-to between Oscar Piastri and Yuki Tsunoda ignites, and the AlphaTauri man ends up off the track.
Tsunoda falls back to the back of the field.
Lap 48: Oscar Piastri and Yuki Tsunoda clash and for a split second it looks like it might end badly.
Fernando Alonso is told to retire his car, which means he hasn’t finished a race for the second time in a week.
Lap 46: Better times for Lando Norris after those dropped positions: he’s up to 11th now.
Lap 45: Max Verstappen has extended his advantage over Lewis Hamilton to five seconds. Victory is looking a formality for the champion.
Lap 43: Realistically, Max Verstappen has a lead of more than four seconds, so holding off Charles Leclerc will probably be Lewis Hamilton’s most important achievement now.
If he can finish second, he’ll reduce the gap in the drivers’ championship on Sergio Perez to 21 points.